May 31, 2019 20:45
in collaboration with Fondazione Teatro della Toscana
from De rerum natura by Lucretius
The nature of things, the scene as a stripping naked of the body
Every moment is tenuous, and the group of five dancers, intended as a single body, produces gestures in the space, not ritual gestures, but a continuous liberation of one gesture into another.
It opens with a simulacrum, not an image. It is detached from the dancer’s or man’s body, this image of the mind that has the capacity to shift perception of its own equilibrium: in effect, in nightmares as in reflected images, one can say that the gaze is not turned inwards, but annuls itself to allow space for something else and for the other; and the simulacrum guides us in the dance and in the three scenes.
Venus passes through three ages.
She is first an eleven-year-old, then a two-year-old baby, and finally an eighty-year-old woman. It is not a precise cycle, but a rebound in time; not a temporal inversion but the traces of memory in the adult body. In this sense, the structure has been determined by the posture of the body and how it is constructed in various stages of life.
Venus is first suspended; then she comes down to earth, her bust erect and perfectly straight; and finally, in the third scene, looks us in the eyes from a void, belly to the ground. Venus is thus also descent, fall and decline, she is the gaze of each moment, ever more tenuous.
For twenty minutes, Venus never truly sets foot on the ground.
A source of enchantment and delight, suspended, lifted and moved by four men who guide her in her dynamic. Each time limiting herself to an unhurried advancement, one thinks of the inclinations of atoms in an uncertain moment when, during their vertical fall, they encounter an imprecise point lacking matter.
What I have in mind is not so much flight as a mechanism inserted into the score in which Venus’ body is clinamen, that tiny swerve and tendency of atoms that Lucretius noted. Streaming images define the body as momentary, a subtle membrane that incessantly tends to detach itself.